Hitchhiker's guide to the literature


inline image

Journal: BMJ

Overview: What does it mean when an entity decides it should throw away most of its name and just keep the initials? KFC, anyone? Presumably the good folk at BMJ publishing are not quite as embarrassed about ‘British’ as Colonel Sanders' crew are about ‘fried’ but it's hard to see why else this journal's name lost its ritish edical ournal. They want to be loved by everyone, not just the Brits. Perhaps, at the risk of psychoanalysing a publishing house, this is a symptom of a wider issue. The BMJ is arguably the Avis of British medical publishing – perpetually number 2 to the Lancet's triumphant number 1. So they keep . . . on . . . trying . . . harder to be all things to all readers. ‘Love me!’ scream the right-on editorials about global warming and research misconduct. ‘Love me!’ wheedle the articles about how to convert your iPhone into a portable PET scanner. ‘Love me!’ coax the debates about circumcision and the ethics of cloning your cat. ‘Love me!’ pleads the addictive rapid response section. Well, OK . . . I do love the BMJ. There's a lot to love here. And even if you don't love it, you can't ignore it. There's a reason for that impact factor and it's not the fillers and obituaries. The editorial emphasis on low tech research with immediate clinical implications makes this a must-read journal for clinicians.

Sample article title: ‘The effect of high dose inhaled corticosteroids on wheeze in infants after respiratory syncytial virus infection: randomised double blind placebo controlled trial’

Scientific importance: inline image

General interest to paediatricians: inline image